Trinity Term 23

Trinity Term 23



at St Theosevia House, 2 Canterbury Road, Oxford OX2 6LU

An Ecumenical Centre for Christian Spirituality in Oxford

The Mysteries and Rituals of Monarchy, from Byzantium to the Present

James Cogbill, Dr Allan Barton FSA (Deacon Nectarios), Revd Dr Liz Carmichael 

Alberto Ravani

Saturday 3 June 10.30 am – 4 pm

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All welcome, no registration required. 

Free for students; non-students £5.

From the Director: Revd Dr Liz Carmichael, St John’s College. . St Theosevia House (messages): 01865 310341.  Asst. Director of Studies: 

May 2023

Dear Friends of St Theosevia’s, 

Thank you for your enthusiastic support of the Study Days last term.  The day on ‘Life, Worship and Architecture’ focusing on the Oxford diocese down the ages was very well attended and made a fascinating topic. ‘Understanding Ukraine’ attracted several Ukrainians and brought insight into the history of the region and the present contested ecclesiastical situation.

Since then we all seem to have been unusually busy, but we have been able to arrange a Study Day on Saturday 3 June to delve into the background of the many ritual actions that contribute to the rite of Coronation. We are grateful to doctoral student James Cogbill for speaking about the Byzantine tradition, and to Dr Allan Barton (Deacon Nectarios of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of the British Isles and Ireland), for bringing his knowledge of the western mediaeval tradition. We will then recall the prayerful preparation that was undergone by the late Queen Elizabeth II before her coronation in 1953, and the recent Coronation of King Charles III with its symbols and emphasis on service.

            We had also hoped this term to hold an evening event in memory of Metropolitan Kallistos, at which we would hear a talk and share memories of him; but work pressures have led us to postpone this until next term.

With best wishes,  LIZ CARMICHAEL


Free tea and coffee are available at Study Days from 10 am and in the lunch break 1-2 pm. Bring packed lunch, or find food nearby in North Parade. If you are willing to help serve coffee you will have a free place – please  leave a message on 01865 310341 or email Asst Director of Studies  

It will be appreciated if you can send a Newsletter Subscription, for costs and postage, suggested gift £5 pa. Send cash, or cheque made out to ‘St Theosevia Trust’, to: Newsletter, St Theosevia House, 2 Canterbury Rd, OX2 6LU. For bank transfer details please ask Alberto. 

For the Oxford Centre for Spiritual  Growth (OCSG), see or contact Ben Simpson at

Saturday 3 June 10.30 am – 4 pm

The Mysteries and Rituals of Monarchy, from Byzantium to the Present

James Cogbill, Dr Allan Barton, Revd Dr Liz Carmichael, 

Alberto Ravani

The development of the Byzantine imperial coronation

The maintenance and performance of court ceremonial was seen by Byzantines as essential to the proper functioning of the empire. As a result, considerable and often minute detail is provided by various treatises, histories and orations about ceremonies, and especially about the coronations of emperors, co-emperors and their wives. Highly complex choreographed events, Byzantine coronations incorporated much of the city of Constantinople through processions, liturgies and more ‘secular’ rituals. This talk will trace the development of the Byzantine imperial coronation from its late Roman roots through its Christianisation to the fall of the city in 1453. 

James Cogbill is a DPhil candidate in Byzantine History at Worcester College, Oxford. His research interests centre on kinship, political culture and monastic thought in the later medieval Greek East and Latin West. 

Regalia and Relics – the cultic elements within the late medieval English coronation rite

The medieval English coronation rite was first shaped by St Dunstan for the coronation of Edgar at Bath in 973.  During the C13th as the cult of St Edward the Confessor developed, the ritual was changed to incorporate the use of both real and imagined relics associated with him.  This talk explores the introduction of these objects and other late medieval cultic elements that enriched the English coronation rite – and how in many cases these have survived until the present day.  
Allan Barton is an independent scholar, teacher, writer and Orthodox Deacon, whose research focused on late medieval art, architecture, and liturgy.  He holds a PhD in History of Art from the University of York and is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London.

The final talk will focus on the coronations of  Elizabeth II and Charles III